Saint NameGeorge, martyr in Nicomedia or Diospolis, ob. c. 303 : S00259
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Graffiti
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after600
Activity not before400
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcEphesus
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Ephesus
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesOther lay individuals/ people
SourceGraffito scratched on the statue base edited in I. Ephesos 526, found in Ephesos (western Asia Minor), on the Embolos street.
DiscussionThe graffito offers us an invocation of the God of the martyr *George. He is asked to support one of the factions, presumably a circus faction (literally 'to rouse their spirits'). This kind of invocation cannot be dated with any certainty, but must be late antique since provincial circus factions disappear in the seventh century. There is a very similar inscription, this time invoking the God of the *Archangels, from the area of Kibyra in Caria, western Asia Minor (see E00844). Alan Cameron argues, unconvincingly, for a dating of this second inscription to the reign of Phocas (602-610).
Roueché, Ch., "Interpreting the signs: anonymity and concealment in Late Antique inscriptions", in: H. Amirav, B. ter Haar Romeny (eds.), From Rome to Constantinople. Studies in Honour of Averil Cameron (Leuven; Dudley, MA: Peeters, 2007), 221-234.
Bulletin épigraphique (2009), 619.
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 57, 1119; 58, 1330.
For similar invocations see:
Cameron, Al., Circus Factions. Blues and Greens at Rome and Byzantium (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), 2, 148-149.